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Incinerator in Zubieta, Gipuzkoa, Spain

After being temporarily cancelled, the plant was resumed in May 2017. Environmentalists, neighbors and political parties say "Erraustegirik ez, ez gure izenean" (no to the incinerator, not in my name)


Zubieta is a rural-type neighbourhood of San Sebastian located 10 Km from the city. For the last years, the landfill capacity in the whole province has been close to filling. In 2006, Odon Elorza, the then mayor of Donostia, accepted a proposal from the Council and approved an incinerator to be built in Zubieta. This new project was processed with great urgency, diverting attention from other possible solutions (reuse, recycling, reduction of waste at source, etc.) and focusing on a calendar created by those who would build the incinerator.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Incinerator in Zubieta, Gipuzkoa, Spain
State or province:Gipuzkoa
(municipality or city/town)Zubieta
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Waste Management
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Incinerators
Specific commodities:Domestic municipal waste
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

261.000 tonnes of waste/year (from a total of 538,000 tonnes of waste/year) would be incinerated.

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Project area:7.8
Level of Investment:252,845,107
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:10,000
Start of the conflict:2006
Company names or state enterprises:Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC) from Spain
Serbitzu Elkartea, Altuna y Uria from Spain
AE&E Inova from Switzerland
Relevant government actors:Basque regional government, San Sebastian Town Council, Consorcio de Residuos de Gipuzkoa
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Guipuzkoa sin incineradora, Coordinadora de Plataformas contra la Incineración, Ekologistak Martxan, EH Bildu, Greenpeace, GAIA
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Public campaigns
Referendum other local consultations
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of livelihood
Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Institutional changes
Strengthening of participation
Application of existing regulations
Development of alternatives:- Reducing, recycling as much as possible and door to door collection of municipal solid waste.

- Design waste policies to go towards zero waste.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The incinerator project was temporarily cancelled and a door to door domestic waste collecting system has been developed in many surrounding towns.

However, in May 2017 the works were resumed and the plant is currently under construction. It should become operational by 2019.
Sources and Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Ley 22/2011, de 28 de julio, de residuos y suelos contaminados:
[click to view]

Ley 5/2013, de 11 de junio, por la que se modifican la Ley 16/2002, de 1 de julio, de prevención y control integrados de la contaminación y la Ley 22/2011, de 28 de julio, de residuos y suelos contaminados:
[click to view]

LEY 3/1998, de 27 de febrero, general de protección del medio ambiente del País Vasco:
[click to view]

Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants:
[click to view]

DIRECTIVA 2008/98/CE DEL PARLAMENTO EUROPEO Y DEL CONSEJO de 19 de noviembre de 2008 sobre los residuos y por la que se derogan determinadas Directivas:
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Web: Guipuzcoa sin incineradora:
[click to view]

Newspaper article. Orbazábal, M. (17/2/2008). La incineradora de Zubieta, en detalle. El Pais:
[click to view]

[1] Arrancan oficialmente las obras de la incineradora de Zubieta


[click to view]

Newspaper article. Etxebarria, A. (14/11/2013). La incineradora es historia tras el acuerdo firmado con las empresas. Gara:
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Youtube clip: ‘Game over. the story of the incinerator of Zubieta’
[click to view]

Youtube clip: El juego ha terminado. La historia de la incineradora de Zubieta:
[click to view]

Youtube clip: ‘Dancing for clean air’ flsh-mob:
[click to view]

Other documents

Numerosas personas han participado en la protesta contra la construcción de la incineradora. Foto: EFE
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Amaranta Herrero
Last update14/11/2017